Mayesh Wholesale Florist

Carnation

Carnations may be the oldest cultivated cut flower that is still with us today, being grown and harvested in Europe and the Near East for decorative purposes for over 2,000 years. Today’s commercial varieties are a far cry from those modest blooms, particularly as the modern plants bloom all year long, a trait that only was introduced in 1897, the first perpetual carnation being “Mrs T. W. Lawson”.

Not surprisingly, there is a wealth of history about carnations, and further investigation is encouraged. A couple of anecdotes demonstrate the depth to which carnations are interwoven with the human experience: The old english word for carnations is “Pinks”, directly attributable to the flower’s original color of a mauve-pink. The word pink derives from the Latin word pinctit, (with a hard c) meaning ‘painted’, as this color was rare at that time. While the English speaking peoples focused on the color of the flower for the name; the derivation of the Spanish word for carnation, “Clavel” is derived from the fragrance, the root coming from clavo, or ‘clove’, which refers to the rich, spicy scent of the older carnations. Vive la difference!

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